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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/30/2011 (5 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Qingdao Jiaozhou Bay Bridge opens for business

China has proudly unveiled the Qingdao Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, which now connects the port cities of Beijing and Shanghai by way of an eight-rail super-fast rail system. At 23 miles long, the bridge is by far the world's longest sea bridge.

Qingdao Jiaozhou Bay Bridge has eight lanes and connects two districts. The journey between the two regions is now shorter by nineteen miles and by half the original travel time of forty minutes. It took $2.3 billion and four years to build.

Qingdao Jiaozhou Bay Bridge has eight lanes and connects two districts. The journey between the two regions is now shorter by nineteen miles and by half the original travel time of forty minutes. It took $2.3 billion and four years to build.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/30/2011 (5 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Qingdao Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, China, high-speed railway


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The bridge has eight lanes and connects two districts. The journey between the two regions is now shorter by nineteen miles and by half the original travel time of forty minutes. It took $2.3 billion and four years to build.

Opening up for business this week, thousands of Chinese passengers turned up at Beijing's South Railway Station, tickets in hand.

"I'm excited," Tina Cheng, an IT marketing executive says, who paid the equivalent of $85 for her second-class ticket on the express train. The train will zoom through three municipalities and four provinces at 188 miles an hour to reach Shanghai in less than five hours. "It's a moment of pride for the Chinese people."

The new railway line was built in 39 months, almost a year in advance. Rail officials and engineers tested the line for at least a month before opening one day ahead of the Chinese Communist Party celebrating its 90th year on Friday.

"This is not only for our employees but also for our country," Tian Lijun, the Deputy Director of the Bogie Assembly Workshop says.

While western journalists found the maiden voyage of the super train to be delightful, they had bones to pick with the fact that China is trumpeting as a victory of Chinese technology and engineering. They were not swayed by the declaration that "the technology is all from Chinese experts and engineers," according to Cheng Le'an, the deputy head of the Beijing Railway Bureau.

The German engineering giant and Alstom, a conglomerate from France specializing in transport and power generation systems, have been working with CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles' for years, on building rolling stock for China's high-speed rail network.

Reporters say that on a rare opportunity to film the CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles' multiple factories in the northeastern province of Jilin, journalists walked through impressive hangar-like spaces and saw the occasional Westerner wearing a Siemens t-shirt.

How much "help" originated overseas is becoming a sticking point as Chinese rail companies bid to land overseas railway projects, particularly in the Middle East and South America, competing with the very same outfits that helped China build out its own high-speed rail system.

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